From an economic perspective it is imperative that we spend money on improving the infrastructure of this country. That includes road, rail and air links as well as replacing power supply, preventing leaking water from old pipes and improving flood defences.
A look at the state of our roads, delays at train stations/airports or recent newspapers provides the evidence.
The single biggest activity on the list of government plans is High Speed 2 which will significantly upgrade the rail connection between the midlands and London. Its child will be in the form of HS3 which may link it to Newcastle / Glasgow (post 2030, maybe). A train journey through the middle of this country provides ample evidence that any changes to rail routes is really going to annoy an awful lot of people and I would put them into the category of NIMBY (not in my back yard)
The planned £50 billion is a bit more complex than this. It is based upon estimates of economic benefits that have been shown to be flawed. Assumptions have been created evolved and manipulated to show that there will be considerable benefits to justify the spending. High Speed 1 was based on flawed assumptions too.
Across Europe, schemes for rail upgrades have been stalled or amended because of austerity.
Chine needs to spend a lot of money on its rail systems and its central control economy minimises dissent if the new rail line crosses your paddi field.
In my opinion the benefits of HS2 are all to do with a major upgrade of aging rail infrastructure but not on a commercially rational basis, but rather on a political image criteria. We are financially broke and cannot afford this white elephant at this stage. Maybe one day when we are wealthy without so much national debt recorded and unrecorded we can consider a tunnel the length of the country. But that will be after my lifetime... if ever.
Good sound facts are to be found here: and facts that the government cannot counter argue these.